Happy Valentine’s Day (belated)! I’ve known for some time that I wanted to try out red velvet cupcakes to celebrate the day of love, but I’ve never been a fan of synthetic-tasting, over-dyed baked goods, so I was hesitant to use a standard “electric red” velvet recipe. I decided to return to The Sprinkles Baking Book and try their version, which is heavy on the cocoa and light on the colouring. And, since I used cream cheese last week in the spiced beetroot cake, I opted for a white chocolate buttercream instead of cream cheese frosting. Oh my goodness was that a good call – delicious! This is possibly my new favourite cupcake recipe. The buttermilk and vinegar give the cakes a light, moist texture even though they are made with butter (not oil) and they are a beautiful burgundy hue.
On a personal note, I received news that a friend – a young mother, wife, and scholar – passed away suddenly from cancer. This news came the day after Valentines and is a solemn reminder to love and live life with all your heart, and never miss an opportunity to share happiness with the people you love because we may not be here tomorrow.
~In memory of Sara
I made a half batch, so double the quantities if you want a dozen.
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup buttermilk, shaken
3/4 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 tsp. red gel food colouring
5 tbsp. (70 g.) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a muffin tin with 6 paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and food colouring.
In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy (2-3 min.). Reduce the speed to low and add the egg, beating until creamy. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition.
Divide the batter evenly in the muffin cups and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch: 15-20 minutes. (mine took 21 min.). Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
White Chocolate Buttercream
(for 6 cupcakes)
113 g. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
6 ounces melted white chocolate, slightly cooled
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Melt the white chocolate and let cool slightly in the pan. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy, and then beat in the chocolate. Add the vanilla and then the icing sugar and beat on low until well combined.
Decorate as desired. I used a closed star wide-tipped (848) piping nozzle and decorated with edible glitter hearts and shaved white chocolate.